2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Prog 899 05/08/94

This prog’s notable last is Ron Smith drawing Judge Dredd. In fact, it’s Ron Smith’s last anything for 2000 AD. As far as I am aware, he disappears into retirement after this leaving me wondering if he is even alive until reappearing recently in the public eye thanks to the first part of a career spanning interview appearing in the latest issue of The Megazine.

There’s no indication in Tharg’s Output page that Smith is about to retire or that A Guide To Mega-Speak was written by John Wagner with this in mind but it does feature a lot of the artist’s hallmarks that I’ve come to enjoy over the years.; a gang of juves with ridiculous haircuts including one with a set of rollers; a “geek” with his nose in the air; a mean spirited Judge Dredd dishing out almost slapstick justice; and, for good measure, a random appearance by a simp who wanders into the story blowing a party whistle and wearing a fish.

This time, for The Slog, I know this is Smith’s last Dredd and so perhaps I am reading it with a sense of occasion that I didn’t have before but A Guide To Mega-Speak features all of the characterisation, intricacy and joy that I’ve almost taken for granted over the years. Yes, droids like Brian Bolland, Mick McMahon and the rest were great Dredd art robots but it’s Smith whose version should be seen as the definitive by younger artists working on the character as far as I’m concerned.

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  • Ah, I can't subscribe to that, 'cus I remember the deflation I felt as a juve any week Smith drew Dredd, caused entirely because any week he was drawing it was a week it wasn't by McMahon or Bolland.

    And that's even though I loved Smith's work on King Cobra for HOTSPUR. So it was purely some sort of Pavlovian response.

    By Blogger Mark, at 11:53 pm  

  • For me the great thing about Ron Smith wasn't so much his Dredd himslef but the characters he populated Dredd's world with. So much life!

    By Blogger Colin, at 9:01 am  

  • Mark, that's how I felt as a youngster but my re-encountering of his work for The Slog has made me realise just how much i actually enjoy/ed his comics.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 4:43 pm  

  • Yeah Colin, I agree.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 4:44 pm  

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